Looking ahead

A summary of the key consultations.

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The Chancellor announced various consultations on future changes. These can be found online under ‘Consultations’ at gov.uk.

VAT registration threshold

Last year a review by the Office of Tax Simplification recommended that the government examine the current approach to the VAT threshold, suggesting that the existing design of the threshold may be disincentivising small businesses from growing their business.

A new consultation examining the effect of the current threshold on small businesses will run until 5 June 2018. Businesses can contribute their views online at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W7TLCZ7.

Tax relief on training and skills

The government is to consult on extending the current tax relief to support self-employed people and employees when they fund their own training, particularly retraining or upskilling for those changing career.

Entrepreneurs’ Relief

The government is inviting views on changes to Entrepreneurs’ Relief to ensure that it does not discourage entrepreneurs from seeking external finance for their companies. Currently, entitlement to the special 10% rate of capital gains tax may be lost when an entrepreneur’s company issues new shares and as a result causes their personal stake to fall below 5%.

A new proposal allows an individual in this position to elect to be treated as if they had disposed of their shares and reacquired them at their market value just before the time the company issued new shares. The individual may claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief on that gain either at the time of election, or on a future disposal of shares.

Cash and digital payments

With the rise in recent years of digital payments, the government is consulting on ways to support people and businesses who use these methods. At the same time it will examine ways to ensure that those who need to are still able to pay with cash, while preventing the use of cash to evade tax or launder money.

VAT, Air Passenger Duty (APD) and tourism

Concerns have been raised about the impact of VAT and APD on tourism in the UK, and particularly in Northern Ireland. The government is therefore seeking evidence on the significance of any impacts that VAT and/or APD have on tourism.

Single-use plastic waste

The government is seeking views on using the tax system to encourage the ‘responsible use of plastic’. It intends to use some of the money raised from any tax changes to encourage the creation of new, greener products and services. In addition, £20m from existing budgets will be given to businesses and universities to research ways to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment.

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